The Coastal Plain of the eastern United States is a low-latitude, low-altitude, low-relief terrain composed primarily of gently dipping marine and marginal-marine sediments that range in age from Cretaceous to Quaternary. Population density of the area is moderate, and most of the population is concentrated along the coast. Inland of the coast, agriculture, including growing trees for pulp, is the dominant economy. In this region, soils have developed along two different pathways. One pathway is dominated by the dissolution and movement of oxyhydroxides and the accumulation of organic matter; the other by the accumulation of clays and oxyhydroxyides and the adsorption or oxidation of organic matter. The first pathway has resulted in the formation of Spodosols; the second, in the development of Ultisols. No clearly distinguishable age trends have been identified in the Spodosols, but the properties of Ultisols can be measured to quantify surface material alteration through time. Ultisols are, therefore, suited to order-of-magnitude chronostratigraphic interpretations. Potentially, data derived through the study of Ultisols can be used to develop models that predict how surface processes will change due to continued weathering and pedogenesis or as the result of climate change. ?? 1991.
Additional publication details
Soil chronosequence studies in temperate to subtropical, low-latitude, low-relief terrain with data from the eastern United States